UPDATE (2:25 p.m.): UConn has announced offensive coordinator T.J. Weist will take over as interim head coach and lead the team for the remainder of the 2013 season.
Manuel on Weist:
"I am very pleased to elevate T.J. to our interim head coaching position," said Manuel. "T.J. will bring energy and enthusiasm to our football team as we embark on our American Athletic Conference schedule. T.J. will provide stability to our football student-athletes during this time of transition and will also effectively oversee all elements of our football program including game preparation, classroom success and recruiting."
Here is the official release.
For a look at Weist's previous coaching experience and style, here's our summer breakdown of the new UConn head coach and his playbook.
UPDATE (12:25 p.m.): A source who worked closely with UConn football players and coaches during the Pasqualoni and Edsall eras spoke with us. Scroll below.
Paul Pasqualoni is no longer the head football coach at the University of Connecticut.
Let the discontented masses rejoice.
Following a 0‐4 start to his third season at UConn, Pasqualoni was officially shown the door by athletic director Warde Manuel this morning. Manuel was on-hand for the team's 41-12 road defeat last Saturday against the Buffalo Bulls, a game the Huskies had been heavily favored to win. Prior to the loss, UConn fell at home to Towson, Maryland and no. 15 Michigan.
"I am making this change in our football coaching staff now as we approach the conference season to see an improved performance from our football program," Manuel said in a university press release. "I am disappointed in the record of our team thus far, but I am confident that our coaching staff and student-athletes will continue to work hard to improve and that will be reflected on the field of play as we start our American Athletic Conference season."
Pasqualoni led the program to a pair of 5‐7 records over his first two seasons, each of which concluded in a loss to Cincinnati. Over his time in Storrs, the 64-year old coach produced an overall mark of 10-18, a far cry from his previous career head coaching record of 107‐59‐1. He has received a $750,000 buyout.
According to media reports, former offensive coordinator and current associate head coach/offensive line coach George DeLeone has been fired as well. Under Deleone's direction, the Husky offense finished amongst the worst dozen units in the country each of the last two years. UConn ranked 110th in turnover margin and 117th for rush yards per game a season ago.
Manuel will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. today to announce an interim head coach. Defensive coordinator Hank Hughes is the leading candidate to land the job, now in his thirteenth year with the program. Others possibilities include offensive coordinator T.J. Weist and offensive line coach Mark Foley. Whoever assumes the reins will have eight games to turn the Huskies' 2013 campaign around.
At the end of the university's official release, UConn president Susan Herbst called on fans to provide continued support for the team in the coming days. The Huskies now enter a bye week, which ought to be highly beneficial to a team in transition.
"What this team needs now as much as anything is the support of Husky fans everywhere," Herbst said. "As we saw at our last home game, the amazing energy and highly-charged spirit of our fans breathes life into this team and that must continue and be repeated again and again ... It is essential to competing and achieving the levels of excellence we demand at UConn."
The Huskies will take to the gridiron next in two weekends, when they welcome the South Florida Bulls on Oct. 12 for their Homecoming game. The Bulls are also currently winless, but they will have a chance to soon change that with a home game this Saturday against Cincinnati.
More to come.
"I think players are always happy when the blame is placed elsewhere. Ultimately, they did not get the job done. If they want to be happy that a good man took the fall for their failures, that's awesome for them. The people that Paul trusted let him down, both coaches and players alike. He takes blame and rightfully so, because ultimately he did put his trust in the wrong people. Paul couldn't play, unfortunately neither could (named offensive player).
"George is a character, and he doesn't really care what anyone thinks. We were terrible up front, but the perception out there that Mike Foley would have done a better job with that group is naive and shows that you probably haven't spent any time with Mike Foley. He's a good guy but he can barely...let alone make below average lineman better, and below average is a compliment for those guys. Edsall missed on lineman late in his tenure, and Foley was lucky enough to not have to deal with the mess George inherited. That's not to say George was perfect, as he struggled mightily to adjust in-game as a play caller and failed to simplify the line play when it was clear we needed to. But rest assured, we did not struggle because Mike Foley was not coaching the O-line."
Follow our football writer Andrew Callahan on Twitter for further updates: UConnFB_Andrew